Wesley Tuttle

Detour

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AllMusic Review by

Detour takes a look at the career of Wesley Tuttle, a nearly forgotten player in the West Coast country music scene of the '40s and '50s. The set contains four CDs, a DVD, and an 86-page book packaged in an LP-sized box. The first two discs hold most of Tuttle's Capitol recordings, including all of his hits and the early sides that prominently feature Merle Travis on guitar and background vocals. The remaining two audio discs are packed with rare radio transcriptions from the '40s. The DVD has a handful of telescriptions (early music videos) and a Jimmy Wakely film, Song of the Sierras, in which Tuttle co-stars. As for the music, Tuttle is similar in style to his confederates -- Jimmy Wakely, Johnny Bond, and Merle Travis -- but with much less novelty material than the latter two, and very little western music. Tuttle favored slow and medium tempos, and his accomplished yodeling is heard on only a few cuts. Song of the Sierras, mastered from a good print, is an average singing cowboy western with a ridiculous plot, but happily features a lot of music. The mere existence of a Wesley Tuttle box set practically precludes any criticism, but there are a couple of problems. One is that Detour omits an entire disc's worth of Capitol and Coral recordings; since Bear Family has a reputation for offering complete recordings sets, and their releases carry a premium price, the omission is puzzling. Most buyers would probably have preferred a fifth disc of music instead of, or in addition to, a DVD. Another puzzler is that the usual licensing information for the Capitol cuts is missing, which raises questions as to what was used as source material -- the original masters or commercial 78s? The sound is excellent but with noticeable surface noise in places, and the matter wouldn't be an issue if not for Bear Family's well-established reputation and high price. Many collectors would have been thrilled with a single-disc anthology, so, nitpicks aside, a multi-disc Wesley Tuttle set is a welcome thing.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:04
2 2:53
3 2:24
4 2:47
5 2:32
6
2:54
7 2:32
8 2:40
9 2:47
10 3:07
11 3:17
12 2:50
13 2:49
14 2:45
15 2:46
16
2:36
17
2:30
18 2:56
19 3:07
20 3:10
21 2:39
22 2:49
23
3:07
24
3:11
25 3:14
26 2:40
27
2:53

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:11
2 2:42
3 2:55
4
2:52
5
2:20
6
2:40
7 2:34
8 2:23
9
2:52
10
2:12
11 2:30
12
2:01
13 2:53
14 2:24
15 2:51
16 3:06
17 2:30
18
2:43
19 2:29
20 3:19
21
2:35
22
2:29
23 2:57
24 2:32
25
2:29
26 2:30
27 2:09
28
2:13
29 2:39

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:23
2 2:28
3 1:52
4 1:59
5 2:20
6 2:17
7 2:34
8 2:34
9 2:24
10 2:30
11 2:39
12 2:26
13 2:32
14 2:18
15 2:08
16 1:40
17 2:39
18
2:24
19 2:12
20 2:17
21 2:34
22 2:35
23 2:17
24 2:09
25 2:06
26 2:16
27 2:46
28 2:15
29 2:28
30 2:12
31 1:58
32 2:13
33 2:29

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:22
2 2:07
3 3:18
4 2:30
5
2:27
6
2:53
7 2:27
8 2:29
9 2:59
10 2:52
11 3:00
12 1:37
13 1:44
14 2:01
15 2:51
16 1:50
17 2:51
18 2:23
19 2:35
20 2:26
21 2:36
22 2:16
23 2:51
24 2:21
25
2:18
26
2:25
27 2:24
28 2:43
29 2:55
30 1:33
31 2:02
32 1:48
blue highlight denotes track pick